Friday, September 27, 2013

Tastes of Fall: Spice Cake

I love the flavors of fall...cinnamon sugar donuts (I had 4 for our bike race on Saturday. The record amount eaten was 20!!), apple cider, Brach's candy pumpkins, soups, fresh hot applesauce, caramel apples.

Notice, I am not a big fan of pumpkin. Besides the candy pumpkins-which don't actually taste like pumpkin. I like the look of pumpkins on my front porch, but I am not an imbiber of pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie or pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal with chocolate, that I can do. Because of the chocolate, not the pumpkin.

We went to the farm on Monday to pick out our apples. No one is going into the orchard this year. You get to fill your baskets out of bins. Doesn't have quite the same experiential appeal as a wagon ride into the orchard to pick your own preferred varieties. But it was a huge time saver. It's a trade off. Nevertheless, I now have 3-1/2 bushels of apples in my basement to convert into applesauce, apple butter and apple pies.

I tried some new recipes this week. I will share the soup recipe next week. But I also tried this chicken. Super easy and delicious. Pesto, chicken, and mozzarella cheese. You can't beat that.

But one recipe that speaks fall to me above all others is my Spice Cake. The abundance of spices paired with applesauce makes for a fragrant and tasty and easy cake.

There are a lot of ingredients in this cake if you tally about the different spices. But it really is a simple recipe. Basically 3 steps. Which is why I changed my normal recipe formatting for this recipe.

The coup de grace is the frosting. Hands down. You could use a cream cheese frosting, but the Caramel Cream frosting is what adds panache to this particular cake. It takes it from delicious to extraordinary. Just sayin'...

You can make the cake in a 9x13" pan for crowds. Or you can make it in 2-9" pans. I like to do this and freeze one for later. Or, you can stack the two layers for a fancy-nancy cake. Just pour some of the frosting between the layers, and then the rest on top.

Spice Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 cup sour milk OR 1/4 cup sour milk and 1 cup of applesauce
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

-Mix the dry ingredients together in a big bowl, or in your stand mixer.
-Add all the wet ingredients except the eggs. Mix with an electric mixer on medium until all the ingredients are combined. Then turn it up to high and mix for minutes.
-Add eggs, and mix on high for another 3 minutes.
-Bake in a greased 9x13" pan OR 2-9" pans for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

As soon as you remove the cake from the oven make the...

Caramel Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 cup mini marshmellows
2 cups powdered sugar

1) melt the butter in the pan, add the brown sugar and milk. Bring to boil and boil for one minute. Remove from heat.
2) add the marshmellows, and stir with a wire whisk until melted.
3) add the powdered sugar and stir until lump free.
4) pour onto cake immediately.

Happy Fall, Y'all!